All of us deal with clutter differently. Some people lose sleep over a messy home; others just shrug it off. No matter if you belong to the super tidy group of mums or the one that is able to see beyond the clutter, it is definitely a lot harder to keep the house in perfect condition when you have kids.
Somehow, there is just not enough time to make sure everything is as tidy as we’d like it. By making use of a few hacks, however, the weekdays will suddenly seem a bit more manageable. Here is a handful of effective ways to make your house shine again when you have young kids, and it won’t even feel like you’re spending too much time on it.
First: Relax a bit
Before we get started on the actual tidying, it’s a good idea to let your shoulders down and remember that your expectations of picture-perfect should be a bit different now than before you had kids. Otherwise, you might actually go nuts.
If everything has its place, you’re going to be running around the house all day, trying to make sure everything stays there as well.
This is actually only possible if you don’t have that many knick-knacks around the house, so you’ll either have to lower your standards or get rid of some things. Check out this great book on the topic, by the way, and get some more cleaning inspiration.
As long as the toys are in the basket, it doesn’t really matter if they’re in a big pile or not – and as long as the clothes aren’t all over the floor, you can consider it a job well done.
#1 Befriend the baskets
Now, even though all your things don’t have to have its place, you can still make sure that most of it have a box to be stacked away in. It’s going to make it a lot easier for your kids to help you keep the house tidy as well when they’re old enough for it.
Have a look at these cute baskets, for example, and do a few sweeps during the day to make sure everything stays in its basket. Sooner or later, your kids will be old enough to put it away without you asking – and you can finally put your feet up.
#2 Consider the bathroom
The bathroom is the one room we all need to clean and tidy up more than any other room. As soon as the family gets clean, the bathroom gets a little bit dirtier, so it’s a good idea to think about what it looks like before you start cleaning it.
Try to keep as little stuff as possible around the sink area, for example, as you will have to clean underneath them each and every time. To avoid getting all that build-up of soap scum on your tiles, you can also try to apply a very light layer baby oil to them.
If you’re due to renovate your bathroom, it’s a good idea to think about ways it can stay as clean as possible. Have a look at bathroom company for some inspiration on how it can look when it’s both clean and fancy, or just to start dreaming about your perfect bathroom.
Big tiles are easier to clean than smaller ones, for example, and you can always get some extra racks installed to make sure you don’t have all that stuff hoarding up around the sink as well.
#3 Have cleaning supplies accessible
Another rule that really applies to the bathroom; keep cleaning supplies within reach at all times, and you’ll be able to give it a quick sweep a lot more often. It may remind you to clean as well, though, even though that’s not always what we want – but remember that it will also remind the rest of the household that they can clean it too.
No more telling yourself you’ll do it later, simply pick up the sponge and soap that’s within eye-reach, and give it a quick scrub. It will take you less than two minutes and you don’t have to think about it in a while – until the next time you see that sponge sitting there, that is.
Think about other ways you can make it easier to clean the house a bit more often, such as keeping the vacuum cleaner out where you can see it rather than stacking it away each time. A slim and portable vacuum cleaner will be best for this though, as you don’t want to be looking at an enormous corded beast the whole day either.
#4 Do laundry every day
If you have many kids, you might already be doing laundry almost every day, but even small families should consider this. By doing smaller loads on a cooler wash, of course, you’re making sure that doing laundry doesn’t become this huge project you have to spend the rest of your day on.
Put on a small load, sit down and do whatever, then get up and hang the laundry. It won’t take you any time at all and you avoid the big hassle of having a massive laundry day filled with sheets, towels, and everything else.
The secret to doing laundry efficiently is as it is with everything else in life: simply divide it up into smaller parts and you’ll hardly even notice it.
#5 Remember to delegate
You shouldn’t be doing all of this on your own. Even if you feel, in your heart, that you are the one who is in charge of cleaning the house, you need to delegate like a boss. No boss runs the company all by herself – she has employees, of course, little helpers that she can give suitable tasks.
Not to say that you should boss your household around either, but make sure that you’re not taking on all the responsibility if you have older children or other adults living with you.
Kids, teenagers and husbands alike should all have their roles and responsibilities clearly assigned so that everyone knows what they’re doing. It makes for a happier home and a much happier mum.
If someone seems a bit resistant to playing their part, try to point out your own responsibilities as well – not what you have done already, but what you will be doing while they do their part.
While your husband loads the dishwasher, for example, you’ll be vacuuming the living room quickly. Or you unload the dishwasher every evening if he loads it in the daytime. When everyone is working together towards a common goal, and when the roles as clearly assigned, the weekdays go by a bit more seamlessly.
The secret to a clean and tidy house when you have children is simply to lower your expectations slightly, make sure you have enough baskets to go around and do the cleaning in smaller and more manageable steps. Sure, it will still feel like a chore – but you’ll have it over with a lot faster.